Carcinoma of the cervical stump. The Radiumhemmet series 1959–1987. Treatment and prognosis

Authors: Hellström, Ann-Cathrin; Sigurjonson, Thore; Pettersson, Folke

Source: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, Volume 80, Number 2, February 2001 , pp. 152-157(6)

Publisher: Informa Healthcare

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The purpose of this retrospective study is to evaluate the longterm prognosis for cervical stump cancer compared to matched controls with cancer in an intact uterus. Methods.

From 1959 to 1987, 145 patients were treated for an infiltrating carcinoma of the cervical stump at Radiumhemmet representing 2.2% of all cervical cancers. Three control cases to each case were selected from the cohort of cervical carcinoma cases – matched to year of treatment, stage, histology and age (plus, minus 2 years). Actuarial survival was calculated for cases and controls. Survival differences were analyzed with the Kaplan-Meier technique. The age distribution for cases ranged between 36 and 84 years with a mean age of 60.6 years. The mean age for the control series is 9 years of age (range 35–86 years). Among the cases 87.6% were squamous cell carcinoma and 12.4% were adenocarcinomas. Treatment of carcinoma of the uterine stump at Radiumhemmet followed the same modality as was practised for ordinary cervical cancer cases i.e. two brachyradium applications with 3 weeks interval followed by external irradiation. The dose of irradiation from the intracavitary application given to the stump cancers was lower than that given to comparable cases of the common cervical cases. Results.

No evidence was found of poorer longterm prognosis for radiologically treated squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine stump compared to that of the ordinary cervical carcinomas. Stump cancers of the adenocarcinoma type had a worse prognosis than adenocarcinomas in an intact uterus (p<0.07) and also compared with stump cancers of the squamous epithelial type (p=0.05). The complication rate was higher for the stump cancer cases compared with that for cervical cancers in intact uterus. The mean time interval from subtotal hysterectomy to the stump cancer diagnosis was 17.6 years with a range from 1 to 46 years. Conclusions.

Recent discussions argue for a better sexual function after subtotal hysterectomy. Our study gave no convincing argument in terms of poorer prognosis for radiologically treated carcinoma of the uterine stump compared to that of the total cervical cancer series. It is thus necessary to weigh the possible gains with subtotal hysterectomy against the relatively low risk to fall victim of a stump cancer. Complications following surgery, as well as possible physiologic and sexual functions of the cervix, should be taken into account.

Keywords: carcinoma; cervical stump; prognosis; sexual life; treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2001

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